New Ontario bill proposes rent control for all tenants
Private member's bill seeks to eliminate exemption, which prevents rent control for units built after 1991.
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Queen’s Park has the opportunity to change a law that sees an ever-increasing number of residents go without rent control.
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns will unveil the Rent Protection for All Tenants Act on Thursday morning and introduce the private member’s bill Monday.
“It’s time to make sure everyone is protected,” he told Metro.
“We can’t let this go on; the Wynne government has had 14 years to fix this problem and hasn’t.”
The motion seeks to remove an exemption that sees tenants priced out of their homes due to sudden rent increases.
The 1997 Residential Tenancies Act created an exemption wherein rental units built after 1991 wouldn’t be subject to rent control. For all other units, rent increases are limited to a number near the rate of inflation, unless significant renovations have been done.
The law was meant to provide developers with an incentive to build rental units. But critics like councillors Ana Bailao and Josh Matlow have argued that the city’s 1.3 per cent rental vacancy rate and dwindling affordability show the status quo isn’t working.
They previously called on the provincial government to review the act.
Geordie Dent from the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations says the change is necessary.
“It will help a number of tenants avoid economic evictions,” he told Metro.
He added that, considering the condition of Toronto’s real-estate market, the time is right to provide relief.
“Either the government is going to throw tenants some help or they will ignore them,” he added, pointing out that half the city is made up of tenants.
It’s not the first time a private member’s bill has been introduced to repeal the 1991 rule. In 2011, former Conservative MPP Norm Sterling introduced a motion, but like most private member’s bills, it didn’t succeed.
Read more from Metro's Code Red series on the housing crisis.
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